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Hindu Press International
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Tamil New Year Celebrated in South Africa
Posted on 2001/4/16 23:46:02 ( 403 reads )


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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, April 14, 2001: The South African Tamil community is celebrating its New Year's Day with great expectations. The Tamil community makes up the majority of the 1.2 million South African Indians descended from the first settlers who arrived in 1860 to work on the sugar cane plantations. South African Tamil Federation president, Mickey Chetty, said in his message to the community that the 5103th Tamil New Year, named Vrisha is a year of vigor. "The year is indicative of the Theebam, which is light, thus forecasting a lot of positive energy for the year, ensuring this prosperity," Chetty said. The Tamil Federation of Gauteng province will join the federation's program to mark the New Year with a special celebration at Laudium, near Pretoria, April 22, with dance, music and drama.




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Court Can't Solve Ayodhya Tangle, Says Advani
Posted on 2001/4/13 23:49:02 ( 857 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 10, 2001: Home Minister L K Advani told the Liberhan Inquiry Commission on Ayodhya today that the temple dispute could only be resolved through negotiations or legislation as a court verdict would not provide a solution to the problem. "The BJP has always been of the view that the issue could be resolved through a negotiated settlement or a legislation. Litigation is not the answer to the problem," Advani remarked in his maiden appearance before the eight-year-old Commission. His narrative of the events which led to the December 6, 1992, demolition of the disputed structure was an exercise in self explanation; aimed primarily at living down the hardline image that has haunted him all these years. Striking a personal note, Advani, who is an accused in the demolition case, described December 6, 1992, as the most depressing day in his life. "I had seldom felt as dejected and downcast as I had felt on that day. I couldn't share the feelings of those who were ecstatic," he remarked in reference to the post-Ayodhya jubilation among many Hindus.




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Stanford Hindu Students Council Celebrates Holifest
Posted on 2001/4/13 23:48:02 ( 850 reads )


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STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA, April 8, 2001: Stanford University's Hindu Students Council (HSC) celebrated their first Holifest on April 8. About 50 students gathered on Wilbur Field and played Holi with colored powder, colored water and water balloons. Holi is a festival celebrating the triumph of good over evil. Sumir Meghani, HSC coordinator said, "HSC began activities at Stanford last year, with the goal of bringing Hindus from all walks of life, and people interested in the rich and diverse Hindu cultures, religions, and philosophies together." The Stanford HSC has also celebrated Diwali and sponsored fundraisers for earthquake relief.




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Correction on VHP Gujarat Earthquake Volunteer Program
Posted on 2001/4/13 23:47:02 ( 928 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, April 13, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America's Gujarat Program information is at the website at "source" above and not at the website given in yesterday's HPI.




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Jain Community Pulls Together After Earthquake
Posted on 2001/4/12 23:49:02 ( 875 reads )


Source: Abhiyaan Gujarati Weekly





AHMEDABAD, INDIA, February 24, 2001: Appealing for funds internationally to restore Jain temples in Gujarat after the devastating January 26th earthquake, the Jain community has made extensive efforts to preserve valuables at all locations.Thirteen villages suffered losses including the sacred pilgrimage place of Bhadreshwar. After locating 205 murthis in 65 damaged temples, a team of about 40 volunteers have toured all temple sites to assess the damage. The team relocated murthis, gold, jewelry and silver utensils as well as rare scriptures and Jain art to a safe location near Ahmedabad. Diamond merchants of Mumbai also participated in the clean-up by collecting temple properties to keep in safe custody. Daily inspired talks by Jain monks has encouraged the youth to participate in the humanitarian work. Broken murthis were ceremoniously decommissioned and ceremoniously placed in the ocean. It is estimated that US$7.3 million will be needed to return the temples to their original pristine glory.




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Tribal Community Targeted by Tiger Force
Posted on 2001/4/12 23:48:02 ( 790 reads )


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TRIPURA, INDIA, April 10, 2001: The Buddhist Chakma tribal community, living in the hill areas of Tripura, was exposed to insults by the Christian Tripura Tiger Force recently. Torching the Buddhist temple where the community worships as well as setting fire to 13 huts belonging to five families, the group has threatened any villagers who practice any other religion except Christianity. In December of 2000, a similar incident occurred in the southern Almara village of Tripura.




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Ramakrishna Mission Dedicates Final Orissa Relief Houses
Posted on 2001/4/12 23:47:02 ( 824 reads )


Source: Ramakrishna Mission





BELUR MATH, HOWRAH, INDIA, March 17, 2001: Swami Smaranananda, General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Mission, announced today that after giving extensive primary relief to the victims of the 1999 Super Cyclone in Orissa, the RK Mission undertook the construction of 330 houses and three school-cum-cyclone-shelter houses as a part of its rehabilitation project at Kanaguli village, of Ersama Block in Jagatsinghpur district. The work was started in April, 2000, and now most of the new houses have been given away to the beneficiaries. In the last phase, 71 houses will be handed over to the beneficiaries and the newly built school/shelter will be inaugurated by His Excellency Sri M. M. Rajendran, the Governor of Orissa on Tuesday, 17th April, 2001.




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Grants Announced for Science and Religion Projects
Posted on 2001/4/12 23:46:02 ( 941 reads )


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The Philadelphia Center for Science and Religion (PCRS) is pleased to announce a call for proposals for an exciting new grant program. The Local Societies Initiative provides three-year grants for $15,000 each available to academic and other organizations interested in developing new programs promoting the constructive engagement of science and religion. Each applicant must be able to match the grant with $15,000 of other funds over the three years. Supplemental grants of $10,000 each will be awarded annually to particularly creative, innovative and effective programs. For more information about this opportunity to further dialogue in the important field, go to "source" above.




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Dalai Lama Comments on Dalit Conversion
Posted on 2001/4/11 23:49:02 ( 827 reads )


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KOLKATA, INDIA, April 10, 2001: The Dalai Lama on Monday said the proposed mass conversion of one million Indian Dalits ("untouchables") to Buddhism on October 14 would give those embracing the religion an equal standing in society. "I am always expressing, telling and sharing with new Buddhists, particularly those from so-called lower castes, that taking to Buddhism should not result in resentment among other religions. If some people from India follow the dharma, it is good. After all, I describe Buddhism and Hinduism as twin brothers and sisters," he said.




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Tibet's Ancient Medical Tradition Thrives in India
Posted on 2001/4/11 23:48:02 ( 799 reads )


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DHARMASALA, INDIA, April 12, 2001: The Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute maintains its quiet, industrial facade giving little idea of the riches within here in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Dalai Lama founded TMAI as part of his effort to keep Tibetan cultural traditions alive in Indian exile. Through its network of 37 branch clinics throughout India, TMAI provides free or low-cost medical care to more than half a million Indians each year. Tibetan medicine is often compared to Ayurveda, since both classify individuals within three categories, or humors, and use herbal medicine and diet in its treatment. Tibetan medicine also relies on astrology, including the signs of the Chinese zodiac to understand movement of fluids in the body. "It may be the chemical that cures the disease, but it's the power of compassion that helps the patient heal," states one practitioner.




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Biotech Industry in India
Posted on 2001/4/11 23:47:02 ( 876 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 8, 2001: Following in close footsteps to India's software revolution, the biotech industry has found a new haven for its development. Combining natural rich diversity, lenient biotech policies and qualified individuals conducting research, India hopes to expand both its wealth and medical and ecological breakthroughs. Critics such as environmentalist Vandana Shiva say the Western companies are coming to India to promote biotechnology because the Western public is increasingly opposed to this technology as prone to extremely hazardous consequences. It is illegal to market GM food in Europe, and companies are starting to shy away from GM corn and other crops in America.




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VHP of America Announces Gujarat Earthquake Volunteer Program
Posted on 2001/4/11 23:46:02 ( 727 reads )


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HOUSTON, TEXAS, April 9, 2001: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America announced today a program whereby volunteers from can help with earthquake relief work. Volunteers must speak English, Hindi or Gujarati, and give at least one week's time. Assignments depend on needs and volunteers' interests and skills. Volunteers will get clean water, food and transportation to Bhuj from Ahmedabad. Rehabilitation includes rebuilding permanent residences and complete relocation of communities. Currently, the focus is to build one-room structures prior to the summer monsoon. Visit the website for a complete list of jobs including construction, counseling, tutoring, administration, medical care and many others.




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Monks Irked Over Sage Slur
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:49:02 ( 832 reads )


Source: The Telegraph





KOLKATA, INDIA, April 9, 2001: Religious leaders and followers of Ramakrishna Mission are appalled by the manner in which the famous words spoken by the sage to actress Nati Binodini have been portrayed in cartoons plastered all over city walls of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). The cartoon's sage, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, with an Ajit Panja look and the devotee: unmistakably Mamata Banerjee -- with the words "May you find enlightenment," and the response by the devotee "I don't want enlightenment, please make me chief minister, O Lord." Ajit Panja is a local politician who, as an actor, has played Ramakrishna. Mamata Banerjee is a popular Bengali politician. Poll graffiti as a cartoon is proving a potent weapon to ridicule rivals but the dig at Trinamul leader Ajit Panja's portrayal of Ramakrishna, and Mamata's ambition, has the monks' disapproval. They described the graffiti as a "vulgar attempt to denigrate the image of the great spiritual leader." Swami Sanatanananda, general secretary of Baranagar Ramakrishna Mission, said, "We don't approve of anyone using Sage Ramakrishna as an element of caricature."




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Prime Minister Appeals for Sanskrit Revival
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:48:02 ( 760 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 5, 2001: "Wouldn't it be better if we simply began chatting in it?" quipped Prime Minister Atal Vajpayee at the World Sanskrit Conference held last Thursday. A well-attended conference of Sanskrit lovers and scholars met to discuss music, art, yoga, history and philosophy. The Prime Minister's appeal to popularize the ancient language brought some skepticism from the gathering. However they whole-heartedly supported the leader's promise to provide government funding to publish original manuscripts and to give Sanskrit an equal place in Indian society. Presently the English language has brought India information and technology. "But," said Vajpayee, "It must not take the place of our own languages." One Croatian professor claimed exposure to the Indian ethos via ancient texts helped him overcome grief in the ethnic war and led him to organize relief and humanitarian work. "Western-style capitalism and consumerism is eroding traditions and cultures the world over. Sanskrit has values for India that can check cultural degeneration and teach values to a generation that is taken in by computer games," he said.




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Former President Clinton Loves Curry
Posted on 2001/4/10 23:47:02 ( 804 reads )


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MUMBAI, INDIA, April 6, 2001: His reputation proceeding him, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be feasting on curry when he visits Mumbai. Featuring curries from every region of India, the executive chef of the hotel Taj Mahal has planned and supervised the menu. Even though several of the normal menu entrees have meat in them, the executive chef has discreetly planned a vegetarian meal for the lunch held in Clinton's honor. Attending the luncheon will be members of India's leading business families and Bollywood stars.




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